Westmont Magazine Love Means Never Having to Say Shut Up
By Lloyd Grove, Washington Post Staff Writer
At Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., senior Erik Lokkesmoe and his roommates were known for blasting their stereo and making other obnoxious noises in the wee hours.
“It wasn’t only the loud music, but the announcements broadcasting every activity that went on in the room, including the stuff you don’t want to know about,” recalls Monica Baumeister, who in 1995 was a junior who had the misfortune to room right below this rowdy crew.
Lokkesmoe recalls: “She’d call up and say, ’Hey, man, turn your music down!’ and I would say, ’Now I’m gonna turn it up!’ And then I did.”
Lokkesmoe, 27, wound up as press secretary to Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Baumeister, 26, became a Washington-based flight attendant for United Airlines. They ran into each other and he asked her out in June 1999.
Lokkesmoe took Baumeister to “Les Miserables” at the National Theatre, but she was under the impression that he was using her to get to her roommate. It wasn’t until their fourth date that Baumeister figured out that Lokkesmoe (who was obviously interested in her, not her roommate) was the obnoxious guy from Westmont College. But by then it was too late.
On Saturday, before a dinner date with her parents visiting from Malibu, Lokkesmoe lured Baumeister back to the National (on the pretext that he had to pick up tickets for his boss) and sat her down in the same seat — mezzanine level, row D, seat 108 — that she occupied on that fateful night 1½ years ago. Then he got down on one knee and proposed, presenting her with a one-carat solitaire diamond in a platinum ring. She said yes. They both began bawling.
On her armrest was an engraved brass plaque that Lokkesmoe had purchased to commemorate the occasion: “To Monica, the love of my life: Join me in God’s dramatic story of grace and love. Will you marry me? Now and always, Erik.”
“When I saw the plaque, I started crying even more — I was just a pile of tears,” said Baumeister, who plans an April wedding. As for Lokkesmoe’s obnoxious behavior in college, “I’m sure I’ll still figure out a way to make him to pay for that,” she told us.
Reprinted with permission from the Washington Post Style Section, Tuesday, October 24, 2000; Page C3